Do you ever gaze at the muscled bodies at the gym and long for yours to resemble them? As is often the case, where America leads, the UK follows. The last two decades have seen the rise in popularity of the enhanced male physique, with men rejecting the so-called ‘Dad-bod’ in favour of pursuing the bulging, oiled, ‘Mr Universe’ look. Once upon a time, it was a look only readers of those strange, body-building magazines wanted to achieve. The rest of us considered it silly and – given that it required total dedication to the neglect of all other areas of life – foolishly vain. But bit by bit, it was brought into the mainstream by 1980s action stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. When you go for gay massage, you may notice that your therapist has a very well-structured body. However, it will be naturally strong, gym-toned in a healthy way. When you compare it to the ‘walnuts in a condom’ look that the muscle-obsessives strive for, it’s like night and day. Where one is achieved by exercise, both aerobic and anaerobic, clean living and a healthy diet, the other carries with a dirty little secret – illegally-obtained steroids.

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Now a new study has shed light on just why it is that people are so hellbent on attaining this body shape, which at best looks like a terrible, house-of-mirrors distortion of Greek statue. In setting their hearts on getting there, they risk terrible side-effects caused by the steroids – back acne, shrunken testicles, an uncontrollable temper (known as roid-rage) and sexual dysfunction. The study confirms what we thought all along – it’s all about image and nothing to do with either fitness or health. The National IPED info is a survey in which 680 people took part. Although the results present a complex picture of the motivations behind people’s use of steroids, there was one overriding result – 56 per cent of participants admit that ‘aesthetic purposes’ are what motivate them to go down this risky path.

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There have been growing concerns about the use of these drugs, particularly among semi-professional rugby players. When you’re at the gym, you can usually spot those who indulge. Some physical frames were simply never intended to be clad in thick muscle and you may well notice people with huge muscles but tiny heads. These men were probably meant, at their fittest, to be lean and full of sinew (and many might argue that this would be a much more attractive look). But instead, they’ve gone down the steroid route and it looks wrong – almost disfiguring. So the next time you’re enjoying gay massage in London, relax. You’re safe in the hands of an ethical practitioner whose healthy body has been acquired the old-fashioned way – through fitness and fitness alone. 

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